The Best Restaurants in Dalston, London

There is no shortage of food options in trendy Dalston
There is no shortage of food options in trendy Dalston | Courtesy of Jidori
Photo of Kathryn Beeson
5 June 2020

Dalston is one of London’s hippest neighbourhoods – and that shows in its wealth of great dining options. With an international feel and a refreshingly relaxed approach, this part of town is the place to be for high-quality dining without the stuffiness. From casual street food to more upmarket spots, we’ve asked our local insiders to recommend their favourites.


Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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Courtesy of Jidori

On what is an otherwise rundown part of the neighbourhood on Kingsland High Street, bright yakitori restaurant Jidori stands out. Take a seat in the minimalist interior for a range of Japanese-inspired dishes cooked over a kama-asa charcoal grill and enjoy the smells of traditional skewer dishes cooking as you wait. The menu covers small plates and mains, with plenty of vegetarian dishes available. For those who want to explore a range of options, or you just can’t decide, tasting menus start at a very reasonable £19 per head. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee


Restaurant, Mexican
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Looking for a fun spot to start your evening? This taqueria’s menu of mouth-watering Mexican classics will go down a treat. Expect tacos, quesadillas and more with all the classic toppings – barbacoa beef, shredded pork and chicken and a good number of veggie options, too. It’s bright, casual and has a great range of happy-hour deals, making it the perfect place to catch up with friends and grab a margarita or two before heading off to the next bar. Recommended by local insider Huda Awan

Andu Café

Restaurant, Ethiopian
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Relaxed, friendly and one of the few places in London where you can find traditional Ethiopian vegan food, Andu Café is an affordable alternative if you’re in central Dalston. By affordable, we really mean ridiculously good value for this part of London – with filling, tasty main platters starting at £6. The restaurant also runs a bring your own booze (BYOB) BYOB policy (with a small fee for corkage), so if you find yourself needing a treat on the wrong side of payday, Andu Café is the place to be. Recommended by local insider Huda Awan

Little Duck, The Picklery

Restaurant, British, Contemporary
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Little Duck, The Picklery_London_Copyright_Kristin Perers 3
© Kristin Perers

The Picklery is a fermenting kitchen and wine bar with an intimate yet communal ambience. If you’re keen to understand how your food is made, you’ll love Little Duck’s set-up. The restaurant is centred around a large table where diners can watch as kitchen staff prepare each course. The menu, featuring pickles and ferments, changes frequently to keep things seasonal. If braised duck with ibérico tomatoes and fideu or braised beetroot, bulgar wheat, dill and onion seed yoghurt sound tempting, you’ll find plenty to enjoy here. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee


Cafe, British, Chinese, Japanese
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Sleek and innovative Snackbar offers high-end grub with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients and trailblazing flavour combos. There’s nothing like it elsewhere in Dalston, making it a great option for a memorable brunch with that special someone. The menu covers Asian and European fusion and revamped café classics. If you’ve ever wanted to try chicken caesar salad with nori and crispy skin, or wondered what a McMuffin might taste like if made by trained chefs and upmarket ingredients, it’s worth dropping in. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee


Restaurant, British, Asian, Fusion, Contemporary, $$$
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Located in a low-key residential street in Hackney, Pidgin offers Asian-British fusion and a relaxed neighbourhood vibe. Food is based around a four-course tasting menu that changes each week, and the chefs pride themselves on having never repeated a dish in three years. So, if there’s something you fall in love with, savour the moment – you’ll only have one chance to enjoy it. The menus consistently offer innovative flavour combos and plenty of excitement, so there’s always something new to go back for. Recommended by local insider Josh Lee


Restaurant, Vietnamese
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London – specifically the East End – is not short of street-food options, so BúnBúnBún’s ability to stand out in a crowded field speaks for itself. You’ll find the usual Vietnamese delicacies on offer here, but what BúnBúnBún really specialises in is traditional bún salads. With generous helpings of vermicelli noodles, topped with a protein of your choice and finished with roasted peanuts, crispy shallots, pickles, herbs and tangy fish sauce, it’s truly sublime. Casual, affordable and perfect for a spontaneous meal out, it’s everything a good street food-inspired restaurant should be. Recommended by local insider Huda Awan

These recommendations were updated on June 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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